Caribbean Splash Waterpark – Excerpts From “Secret” Barbados Government Report

Anonymous BFP Reader Posts Secret Barbados Government Report

A Barbados Free Press reader calling him/herself “Concerned Resident” has posted excerpts from a “secret” Barbados Government report – an addendum to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the controversial proposal to build a Caribbean Splash Waterpark in the Graeme Hall watershed.

Various Barbados Government agencies were asked to comment upon the Environmental Impact Assessment, but to our knowledge, their comments have not been quoted in the Barbados media… and the addendum containing their comments is “unavailable” to members of the public.

Enter “Concerned Resident”, who posted the following in the comments section of our recent story Barbados Citizens Ramp Up Resistance To Ill-Placed Caribbean Splash Waterpark

Comment As Posted…

A lot has been said about the pros and cons of the proposed water park at Graeme Hall by residents of the area and other commentators. What is very interesting is what the Governments regulatory agencies had to say in their comments on the EIA done by the developer.

These comments were published as an addendum to the EIA and I have recently been able to get hold of a copy. Here are some excerpts from the addendum.

Comments by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) on Page 16:

“Generally the report was found to be unacceptable because little actual information was provided about the nature, magnitude and scope of the development’s potential impacts. In cases where impacts were assessed as significant or not significant, insufficient information was presented to provide a clear rationale for this assessment. The document provides information at the level of a scoping study, in that it identifies some of the issues and impacts that are likely to be important, but the level of information provided about these issues and impacts is not adequate for this to be considered to be a satisfactory EIA”.

Comments by Ministry of Agriculture on page 2:

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has not supported the application made by Caribbean Splash Inc……”
“The Ministry objects to the proposal”

Comments by the Government Environmental Unit on page 6:

“The ministry doers not support the conversion of agricultural land for this type of development. The Environmental Unit is of the view that a development such as this is not in keeping with the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources”.

On page 10: “Graeme Hall is a watershed area that is not fully understood from a hydrological standpoint. There is an assessment project that is currently being undertaken by the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) of the Ministry of Housing Lands and the Environment in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders on the hydrology of the swamp. The results of such a study will assist decision makers to better understand the dynamics occurring within this watershed so that they may better be able to coordinate developmental projects within the watershed area. The Ministry does not recommend placing a facility of this nature within the watershed area”.

These are just some of the comments made in the EIA addendum by Government agencies, agencies whose job it is to protect our environment and country. In the face of these comments will our leaders and relevant authorities still give the go ahead for this project in the proposed location?

36 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

36 responses to “Caribbean Splash Waterpark – Excerpts From “Secret” Barbados Government Report

  1. Jason

    Carson’s blog should be renamed to “Why I Hate The Joos”

    Don’t like it at all. Not one bit.

  2. Joe

    All this talk bout de waterpark..ha..if elections was a fews weeks ago wanna cud talk all wanna want, but that park would have been already under construction.

  3. Jason

    Why doesn’t the government publish these reports on the internet? Dr. Duguid always says the BLP is cutting edge of technology etc, but the reality is something else!

  4. Concerned resident

    Carson, what has your link got to do with the Water Park?

  5. West Side Davie

    Carson’s link is spam even though we know him. bfp please examine it

  6. BK

    They dont publish reports on the Internet for the same reason the nation dont publish all stories. Control PR its called : – )

  7. ross

    Well it is high time the Nation/Advocate etc. publish what the public needs to know and should know.

  8. BFP

    COMMENT REMOVED BY EDITOR

    # Carson C. Cadogan Says:
    August 10th, 2006 at 11:29 am e

    Why not?
    http (URL GIVEN)

    REASON: Link leads to off-topic page.

    Carson… While I disagree entirely with your anti-Jew postings, what you do on your own blog is your business. What you post on ours is our business.

    You posted a URL link which did not lead to a Waterpark story… but to your “Jews Are Evil” website.

    That is not straight up and that is Spam…. whether we know you or not.

    So… your comment is gone. 1st warning re Spam.

    Marcus

  9. Trueblue

    These reports are not for the public. They have to fall off the back of a truck for you to see them. I know you all like to praise Duguid, but what is his role if he cannot get straight answers from his own BLP people?

    Why should I trust Duguiid if he is so wishy washy? Just because he believes in blogs? I think we have to be more demanding of politicians. This nonsense must not continue. The PM must make a clear statement. The DLP has said that it is not in favour of the water-park but what about the BLP (Duguid’s dipsy-doodling notwithstanding)?

  10. william duguid

    First I find it necessary to say again that I am against the location for this development. No dipsy doodling there though I enjoyed the terminology.
    Second it is not necessary to make everything we do public with respect to certain lobbying against the development. Suffice to say that certain results have been achieved.
    Thirdly and this is the most relevant point to this post. This study is not the property of the Barbados Government this study is the property of the developer. It is put at public locations so the public could do it. What should be written into the Town Planning regulations is that in addition it should be published on the net. But it is wrong to chastise GoB for not publishing when it is not theirs to publish even after submission. Certain copyright laws and such would be involved.

  11. william duguid

    Some of the excerpts published are responses requested for the report which are added to it. These too make up the report only which GoB would be at liberty at this stage to publish.

  12. william duguid

    That is would not be able to publish at this stage. As they are only comments on a report which itself is owned by a third party.

  13. Concerned resident

    Dr. Duguid,

    First of all just to clarify, the Addendum to the EIA is just that, an addendum and it is part and parcel of the EIA. Now to the question of the availability of the EIA to the public. The Town Planning department stipulates that it has to be placed in certain public locations and in this case it has been placed at the Oistins Public Library and the Bridgetown public library as well as 2 community centres.

    Now if you go to the public library you can make copies for reserach purposes of any document or publication palced there but a restriction has been placed on making any copies of the EIA or addendum. This is clearly a bold faced move by the Developer and Coastal & Environmental Engineering Solutions Inc (CEES Inc) to restrict access. Why? Is not the purpose of placing copies at public location so that the public can analyze and be informed about the development and be able to make informed comment?

    On a recent call in program Mr. Lennie St Hill (Town Planner) said that the Town Planning Act stipulates that the EIA and addendum must be offered for sale to the public. At no stage has this been done. Is he correct?

    He also went further and said that there is no reason legal reason why the EIA and addendum could not be posted on the internet. If the developer does not do it then some public spirited person, BFP maybe, can post it. Maybe you could post it on your website.

    Please use your connections with Town Planning and the formidable legal minds in your party and let us know whether Mr. St Hill is correct about the EIA being offered for sale and aslo posted on the internet.

  14. Slow Stupid Average Bajan Citizen

    Let me see here if I can figure this out.

    I am kind of slow mentally, so I’ll need help from everybody. Please.

    According to what Dr. Duguid, the Prime Minister and others have said, this is the situation…

    1/ Waterpark developers are required by law (and the GoB) to do an Environmental Impact Assessment.

    2/ This Environmental Impact Assessment was declared “copyright” by the waterpark developer – but according to law must be available for public scrutiny. The waterpark developers therefore placed ONE COPY of the EIA )in the public library to be available for EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY to examine.

    3/ According to the Government of Barbados and the Prime Minister himself as he stated on the radio, this one report sitting on the shelf in the library fulfilled the requirement to make the report “public”.

    3/ Everyone in the whole country was supposed to go to the library to examine the one available report. Copies of the report were not to be made because the waterpark developer had declared the report to be “copyright”. The only public copy of the EIA could not be taken from the library.

    4/ When Barbadian citizens went to the library to read the report and tried to copy the EIA, they were told by staff that the waterpark developers and the consultants who did the EIA had forbidden anyone to photocopy the report because it was “copyright”. Likewise, no member of the public could remove the report from the library.

    5/ Any citizens who wanted to have any written information from the several hundred pages of the EIA were required to write the information down in longhand. At least two citizens who attempted to photograph pages of the report were told to stop and were asked to leave.

    6/ At least one citizen who wanted to read the report at the library was told by library staff that no notes could be taken while reading the report – for fear that the copyright would be violated if direct passages were copied by hand.

    7/ All of this was done to ensure that while the “letter of the law” had been fulfilled, no citizen would actually have reasonable access to the information contained in the report.

    (When questioned about this on the Brass Tacks radio show Prime Minister Owen Arthur explained words to the effect that we have our traditions here in Barbados about how we distribute information to the public – ha ha. Somebody must have a recording of that it should be put on the BFP internet so everybody can hear it.)

    8/ Various government agencies like the Environment Ministry etc had all seen and commented on the EIA – but the responses of the government representatives were (according to Dr. Duguid) either copyright or “not owned” by the government and were therefore kept secret from the citizens of Barbados. (Does anyone smell a cattle pasture here like I do?)

    9/ These “copyrighted” responses from public servants of the people of Barbados were not placed in the library, so not even one member of the public would be able to see them for the so-called “Public Townhall Meeting” that was deliberately kept hidden and rescheduled numerous times. This was obviously a deliberate strategy to further limit public information and thereby control the public’s response to the project.

    10/ We then had several hundred people attend at the so-called “public townhall meeting” that had been postponed and re-scheduled several times over several months. The location, date and time of the so-called “public townhall meeting” was hidden until the very last when a tiny little ad appeared in a newspaper. (A newspaper I might ad that rumour has it that one of the lawyers connect with the waterpark developer has a family member high up in that newspaper)

    11/ Even though the waterpark developer kept the location and date of the meeting secret until the last moment, the fact that they published one tiny little ad in a “public” newspaper fulfilled their “legal obligation” to hold a “public” meeting.

    12/ All of the above is being defended by the Prime Minster, Dr. Duguid and other members of the Government of Barbados as being proper, legal and in the spirit of the “tradition in Barbados” of how we inform the public.

    There. I guess that about covers the situation.

    Maybe like the rest of my fellow citizens I’m just a little slow and stupid. It is a good thing that we have the ‘Govment to look after tings fer us cause we be not needin’ ta know tings like all dees ‘portant biziness matter.

    De prime minister be right on ’bout how we got de traditions ’bout how we done communicate de tings dat de govment tink is ‘portant fer us stuipid Bajans ta know.

    Ken dat wa I say?

  15. John

    Concerned resident

    Don’t send William there.

    The formidable legal minds in the BLP will be busy correcting the recent Road Traffic act that was submitted to Parliament and will hardly have the time to help him.

    Must be a slip up by some public servant that caused the problem like the one with the land acquisition in St. Peter where Liz ended up with egg on her face.

    You can’t get good help nowadays, never mind what you pay.

  16. ross

    Information? Who the hell do Bajans think they are asking for information which is supposed to be public? “Public” information in Barbados is very difficult to obtain and in many cases is not even filed where it is supposed to be.

    The waterpark secrecy issue is just one in a whole stack of other secret issues which need airing.

  17. Pat

    Dear Slow Stupid Average Bajan Citizen:

    I sympathize with you. I also understand you perfectly not withstanding your limited faculties. Just remember this Canadian saying: A fish rots from the head!

    Next time elections come around, remember also that you get the government you vote for.

    Goodbye for now,

    Pat the stupid Canuck Bajan.

  18. Hants

    Please visit the BLP blog and read their article titled “Our Economic and Cultural achievement”.

    I also left a comment.

    Slow Stupid Average Bajan Citizen, please remain as you are because at least you understand what the “smart government is doing to you and you will deal with it in your own stupid way.

  19. Hants

    Slow stupid Average Bajan Citizen,
    yuh tink dis gine help de guvment get back in? Dis on de CBC Barbados web site.

    “Thousands of public workers in Barbados will be smiling their way to the bank next month.

    That is because government has agreed to a one-off pay out of 20 million dollars to compensate for increased inflation last year.”

    Government is honouring the pledge it gave to thousands of public workers in Barbados in the last three-year collective agreement negotiated by the Civil Service Ministry

  20. John

    How many times will thousands go into 20 million?

    Haven’t we heard the 20 million figure somewhere before?

  21. Bajan George

    Intellectual property law in Barbados illustrates, sort of, what duz an’ duzn’t work in the world of public domain material:

    http://www.sice.oas.org/int_prop/nat_leg/Barbados/Ca98-1e.asp

    Bajan George

  22. Trueblue

    I don’t care what you guys say, William has failed again” evasive, empty and irrelevant. Talk about smoke and mirrors.

  23. Concerned resident

    Dr. Duguid, I am waiting on a response form you with regard to this earlier post:

    “On a recent call in program Mr. Lennie St Hill (Town Planner) said that the Town Planning Act stipulates that the EIA and addendum must be offered for sale to the public. At no stage has this been done. Is he correct?”

  24. William Duguid

    I am not aware of the EIA from the developer being offered for sale.

  25. William Duguid

    I have also searched the town planning act and can find no mention of putting the EIA up for sale and thus a requirement to do this maybe he could point me to the relevant chapter in the act.

  26. Bajan George

    Perhaps this section of the 1998 Copyright Act augments Town and Country disclosure requirements. In addition, it clarifies the role of the Librarian to allow release of copies, as it is fair use.

    Bajan George
    ———————————————

    Exceptions Relating to Public Administration

    Parliamentary and judicial proceedings and statutory inquiries

    65.

    1. Copyright in a work is not infringed by anything done for the purposes of parliamentary or judicial proceedings or, subject to subsection (3), for the purposes of repealing such proceedings.
    2. Copyright in a work is not infringed by anything done for the purposes of the proceedings of a statutory inquiry or, subject to subsection (3), for the purposes of reporting any such proceedings held in public.
    3. The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) relating to the reporting of proceedings shall not be construed as authorising the copying of a work which is itself a published report of the proceedings.
    4. Copyright in a work is not infringed by the issue to the public of copies of the report of a statutory inquiry containing the work or material from it.
    5. In this section, “statutory inquiry” means an inquiry held or investigation conducted in pursuance of a duty imposed or power conferred by or under an enactment.

    Public records

    66. Where any protected work or a reproduction of any such work is comprised in any public record pursuant to any enactment which is, by virtue of that enactment open to public inspection, the copyright in the work is not infringed by the making or supplying to any person of any copy of the work by or under the direction of any officer appointed or acting under the authority of the enactment.

  27. Environmentalist

    It seems that the residents of the area surrounding Graeme Hall have got together and sent a petition against the proposed water park at Graeme Hall to The Chief Town Planner. Got hold of a copy of the press release. See below. Unfortunately the letter accompanying the petition was not made public.

    PRESS RELEASE

    A group representing neighborhood citizens around Graeme Hall has delivered a Petition against development of a water park at Graeme Hall.

    The “Friends of Graeme Hall Committee” delivered the anti-water park petition to the Chief Town Planner. Containing approximately 420 signatures, the petition was accompanied by a nine (9) page document itemizing apparent deficiencies in the Caribbean Splash, Inc. Water Park proposal.

    “We believe there are serious deficiencies with the water park proposal and with the environmental and social impact assessments made by the developer,” said Allan Marshall, a resident of Warners Terrace. “The (Caribbean Splash) developer failed to prove that his development would not permanently harm the environment, or safeguard neighbors from health and public safety issues.”

    Officials at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary are also against the water park proposal. In a telephone conversation, Mr. Harry Roberts, general manager of the Sanctuary said that major water and environmental management problems still existed within the Graeme Hall Watershed, and that the proposed pumping of seawater and discharge of brine by the water park could endanger the wetlands and its migratory bird populations.

    Caribbean Splash, Inc. has proposed that an 18-acre water park be built on land controlled by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation adjacent to the ABC Highway at the Graeme Hall roundabout.

  28. RRRicky

    When was this released. Did they sent it to Barbados Free Press? Did bfp publish it?

  29. Jane

    I heard it on the radio tonight.

  30. Brownie

    Ok, so we’ve established that Greame Hall is definately not an appropriate place for a water park. Are you completely against similar recreational establishements? Was’nt there a proposal for a water park to be developed at Long Beach in Christ Church?
    While I symapthise with the residents of Greame Hall and Barbadians on a whole, an alternative place could be developed to provide the same services.
    Look at it this way… think of the employment possibilites such an establishment could provide. Think of the foreign currency we’d be exposed to. After all, we are always lamenting our tourism product. Think of our kids hanging out in a controlled, fun, safe location, rather than on a street corner somewhere. Maybe my post is completely irrelevent, but I thought I should add something. Bye guys.

  31. John

    Brownie

    Go have a look at Barbados from the satellite on Google Earth and I think you will get some answers from what you see.

  32. Environmentalist

    Brownie, I think residents and the rest of Barbados have made it clear that they are not against a water park or foreign investment but not in the environmentally sensitive proposed Graeme Hall area. And remember that the Governments own regulatory agencies did not support the Graeme Hall location. The EDP siad the EIA was unacceptable and merely a scoping study (see the excerpt posted at beginning of these comments)

    But any alternative site still has to take into account environmental factors. One of the factors cited for site selection in the EIA was that the developer was looking for government land to lease because if they had to buy or lease private land at the going rate then their project would not be financially viable. Since this is one of their principal criteria in site selection it really restricts the possible locations for siting their water park. Maybe another deveeloper may not have such conditions and have a wider selection of locations to choose from.

    By the way take a look at http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org. It seems that an alternate proposal is being made for the Graeme Hall site. Looks like a proposal that Barbadians could support wholehartedly.

  33. Jane

    WOW, Environmentalist!
    A ray of sunlight and hope!

  34. Environmentalist

    Having now had a chance to take a closer look at the website http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org I definitely think this is a proposal that all Barbadians could and should support.

    May I suggest that if you agree, try to attend the meeting on October 14 and get as many friends, family and associates to attend. Right now it is jut a proposal and the citizens of Barbados need to show the “powers that be” that they support the NATIONAL Park proposal. A good attendance will be a first step in the right direction and send an appropriate message to the relevant decision makers.

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